Healthy Eating

Young children especially need healthy nutrient intake to support their rapid growth. Much like the rest of the body, our teeth also need healthy foods to stay in good health. Offer your children nutritious foods from the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products.

Avoid foods that are high in sugar, such as candies, sodas, juices, and other sweet treats. These foods increase the risk of tooth decay.

Snacking

The number of times we snack in a day also plays a factor to our risk of dental caries. It is important to limit sugary foods that break down on tooth surfaces and cause tooth decay. Try to limit snacks to no more than three times per day. When snacking, choose nutritious options from the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy.

Healthy Drinks for Healthy Teeth

What you drink is as important as what you eat.  Juice, soda or sports drinks can leave unwanted sugar behind on your teeth. The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away the tooth enamel, the outer shell of your teeth.  Drinking water is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent cavities. Water has no sugar and it cleans your mouth with every sip.

Drink fluoridated water. Fluoride helps strengthen a tooth’s surface to prevent tooth decay. Get fluoridated water straight from the tap. Many public drinking water systems are fluoridated. Click here to learn more about community water fluoridation. Visit the California Water Board for fluoride facts from your city’s public water system.

Milk contains calcium and vitamin D.  These two nutrients help build and maintain strong bones and teeth. This is especially important for children. Other milk choices include soy milk or plant-based milk products such as almond milk, which are fortified with calcium.